How to Pick a Physical Therapist College near Cupertino 95014
Receiving a physical therapy degree near Cupertino CA is an essential first step to starting a rewarding career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been disabled as a result of injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the proper training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s important to investigate those you are looking at to ensure they will provide a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is enroll in a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be evaluated besides location and cost. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of settings, including Cupertino CA hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are struggling with a lack of mobility and often pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they design a course of treatment to address the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also try to stop any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Cupertino CA medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone considering entering the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Available
There are 3 physical therapy degree options offered for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the single degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short summaries of degree levels that are offered in the Cupertino CA area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are most often made available by community colleges, and take about two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally part of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist training to prep candidates to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they generally require four years to complete and often incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated in order to become a practicing licensed physical therapist. The degree program also must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to complete, making the total investment of time 7 years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal element along with the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, not only for graduation but in a number of states for licensing also.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer attainable in the USA. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Online Colleges
Although not as common as the more traditional alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the college campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online part of the curriculum can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Cupertino CA residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition may be somewhat less than similar on campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are reduced. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the right choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
By now you most likely have come to decision regarding some of your preliminary queries, like the kind of physical therapist degree you intend to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are numerous PT schools within the Cupertino CA area and across California, you’ll need to look into other qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of college choices. Also, you need to be sure that you choose the program that is best for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy programs you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing schools these questions before making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As previously mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctoral degree the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you select an online school, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist school and program you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapy community. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT school’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Get in touch with a few Cupertino CA physical therapist centers or other medical care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your college selections. It may also be prudent to contact the California Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two useful statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapist schools you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may mean that students left due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Cupertino CA area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care field is good or even exceptional. It also confirms that the college has a broad network of contacts to assist students gain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the college you enroll in provides both excellent training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internships Provided? Inquire if the physical therapist schools you are evaluating have associations with Cupertino CA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to get hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist graduates and students form professional relationships in the Cupertino healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist school they pick will have to be within driving distance of their Cupertino CA residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Most DPT schools supply some form of financial support to their potential students. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial aid office and find out what kind of assistance is obtainable. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. Some physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapist program you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Cupertino CA area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Cupertino California?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Cupertino CA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Cupertino (/ˌkuːpərˈtiːnoʊ/ KOOP-ər-TEEN-oh) is a U.S. city in Santa Clara County, California, directly west of San Jose on the western edge of the Santa Clara Valley with portions extending into the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains. The population was 58,302 as of the 2010 census.Forbes ranked it as one of the most educated small towns, with local public schools ranking highly in the country. It is known as the home of the Apple Inc. corporate headquarters.
Cupertino was named after Arroyo San José de Cupertino (now Stevens Creek). The creek had been named by Spanish explorer Juan Bautista de Anza's cartographer, who named it after Saint Joseph of Cupertino. Saint Joseph was born Giuseppe Maria Desa, and later known as Giuseppe da Copertino. Joseph of Cupertino was named after the town of Copertino, where he was born, in the Apulia region of Italy. The name Cupertino first became widely used when John T. Doyle, a San Francisco lawyer and historian, named his winery on McClellan Road "Cupertino". After the turn of the 20th century, Cupertino displaced the former name for the region, which was "West Side".
Although the meaning of "Copertino" is uncertain, it is likely a compound word meaning "little (covered) shelter." The -ino suffix in Italian words indicates "small" or "little", while "coprire" in Italian means "to cover", and "coperto" is derived from the Latin "coopertus," which means "covered shelter."
Choose the Ideal Physical Therapy College near Cupertino CA
Selecting the best physical therapy college is a necessary first decision you need to make to start a fulfilling career in the health care field. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you pick should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. However there are additional important questions that you need to ask regarding your school of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapy college, bear in mind that many variables will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You might want to visit different campuses to view their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me reach my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the proper training and education, you can accomplish your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Cupertino CA.
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